From Accounting to Nursing—By God’s Direction
Jadhon Kerr landed her dream job as a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse at University of Florida Health in Jacksonville, just three months after graduating with her BSN from MidAmerica Nazarene University in 2013. Jadhon’s unit provides medical care for premature and critically ill newborns and holds the designation of Level III NICU and a Trauma I hospital. Sometimes she’s surprised that she is in this job and astounded by the life changes she has made so quickly.
“The idea of being a nurse never crossed my mind,” Jadhon says. “I hated the sight of blood. It’s funny how God will call you to something and then will equip you with everything you need.”
It was just 2011 when the Olathe South High School alum graduated from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville with a bachelor’s in accounting. Frankly Jadhon didn’t know what she wanted to do next.
Jadhon’s father is a pharmacist in Olathe. Growing up around the pharmacy she thought she might like to follow him into that field. She had developed a desire to be in missions but had no clear direction. Throughout high school and college, Jadhon participated in community service and domestic mission trips to urban areas as well as international trips to Haiti and Ukraine.
Eventually she chose a major in accounting thinking that she might work in the business side of a missionary organization.
Just after college graduation an EF5 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, would give direction to her path. Volunteering with the humanitarian relief agency Heart to Heart International was the catalyst. Jadhon worked alongside physicians and nurses and soon a new feeling stirred within her. Her heart started to turn toward a career in nursing.
“One night before I went to bed, I heard God’s voice ever so clearly calling me to be a nurse,” she says. “At first I was scared, but when I finally surrendered to the call, it was the best decision I ever made. My years working as a pharmacy technician with my dad was God's divine way of preparing me for the future. He is so happy to have me join him as a colleague in the medical field!”
The idea of retraining to be a nurse seemed daunting to Jadhon. After all, she had just finished a bachelor’s degree. How long would it take to learn the skills and earn the credentials she needed to be a nurse? Would her previous years of college be “wasted?” But when she learned of MidAmerica Nazarene University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, she saw a way to reach her goal that would utilize most of the education she already had. The ABSN program allows students with a bachelor’s degree or around 90 semester hours, to complete a BSN in just one year. The program is intense, but allows graduates to get started in a new career in record time.
Jadhon was challenged by the ABSN program and first had to take a semester of prerequisites before being admitted. Once accepted she committed to the amount of study time and course work it took to be successful.
“You had to be very disciplined, with good time management,” Jadhon said. “The program, was definitely worth every late night study session. The professors, class work, and clinical experiences really prepare you to pass the NCLEX (the test required for licensing nurses) and succeed as a nurse. The skills I learned allowed me to move across the country and land a job in a very specialized unit.”
It was no surprise to Jadhon’s family that she had what it took to achieve her goal in such a challenging program.
“Jadhon’s always been a high achiever,” says her father, Jim Kerr. “Whatever she does she puts in the time it takes to do it well. When she played Div. I basketball at Wichita State and then University of North Florida, she was never the tallest or the fastest, but she was disciplined to put forth her best effort and succeed.”
Jim says Jadhon was the second highest all-time scorer in basketball at Olathe South and won athletic scholarships to both universities she attended prior to MNU. In college she won the Gold Congressional Award from the United States Congress, the highest award Congress gives to civilian youth based on initiative, service, and achievement.
The same level of effort was always put forth in her academic career as well.
“If she thinks she’s supposed to do something, she puts in her best effort,” Jim said. “I told her the ABSN program would be like a full-time job. Somehow she was still able to work part time as a pharmacy tech. I never doubted she would make it because she just does it.”
Now trained and working in her field, Jadhon loves her job.
There are so many simple things we can do to save the life of a newborn and the mom,” she says. “Working with infants is very rewarding because they are so vulnerable. They rely on you fully to provide care to them because they can’t voice what they need.”
Jadhon is energized by the opportunity to serve and help people daily.
“I see God's little miracles slowly get better day by day and eventually get to go home. I get the chance to help heal someone physically, and spiritually. Building relationships on a daily basis with the parents and families is so rewarding.”
Jadhon’s call to nursing continues to expand. She hopes to someday become a missionary nurse. And her experience has helped her younger sister Jadhken decide to become a nurse. Is Jadhon glad she made the decision to enroll in the ABSN program? You better believe it!
“The ABSN program at MNU is one of the best programs in the country,” she asserts. “Going into my first job as a nurse, I felt completely prepared. The strong academic rigor combined with the Christian values prepares you to be the best nurse possible and to provide patient-centered care no matter where you work.”
For more information on MNU’s academic programs visit www.mnu.edu.